For our Robo-Advisor Review we assessed, rated, and ranked eight different firms. Instead of relying on website information and marketing materials as most editorials do, we opened and funded an account with each robo-advisor
to acquire a true client experience. Here, we will compare Merrill Edge Guided Investing vs Wealthfront to see which robo-advisor is best.
To start our comparison, we will take a look at the annual fees for both services. Cost is broken down into two separate buckets: the annual management fee charged for having an account and the annual fee charged for holding each ETF in the portfolio. Wealthfront received a rating of 4.50 stars over Merrill Edge Guided Investing's 3.00 stars.
Exploring both robo-advisor feature sets, we can also find differences. Wealthfront has tax-loss harvesting, Merrill Edge Guided Investing doesn't. For running calculations on being ready for retirement, clients will want a retirement calculator. Wealthfront makes an advanced retirement calculator available to clients, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not. Some customers like to monitor their personal financial goals. Wealthfront makes goal tracking available to clients, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not. Finally, an attractive feature includes providing deeper account analysis thanks to the ability to import and aggregate third-party financial accounts. Wealthfront has external accounts analysis, Merrill Edge Guided Investing doesn't.
Lastly, more web savvy customers may find it valuable to have access to customer service through phone, email, and live chat. However, not every robo provides live chat support as an option. Merrill Edge Guided Investing offers live chat support while Wealthfront does not.
Overall, Wealthfront boasts 5.00 stars versus Merrill Edge Guided Investing's 3.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Wealthfront was rated Best in Class - Cost, Best in Class - Investment Approach and Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing was rated Best in Class - Customer Service.